You shall not commit adultery.
– Exodus 20:14
Jesus calls us to live in purity of the heart or being chaste, Chastity means being decent and modest in the treatment of our own sexuality and our behavior toward others. In the sixth Beatitude, as stated in The Beatitudes to Happiness, says that the clean of heart are blessed, for they shall see God. The clean of heart are those who direct their hearts, bodies and mind toward God. Chastity calls us to exercise self-control in our language and action. This means being decent and modest in our thoughts, words and actions at all times and in all places. Here are some offenses against chastity.
“‘Now if a man has a seminal emission, he shall bathe all his body in water and be unclean until evening. ‘As for any garment or any leather on which there is seminal emission, it shall be washed with water and be unclean until evening.” – Leviticus 15:16-17
Wholesome self-control resists the temptation to search for solitary sexual pleasure through masturbation. It is an abuse of our sexual powers because it is done outside married couple’s sexual relationship. Our sexuality is ordered toward self-giving love and the service of life according to God’s design. Chastity is the virtue that fosters a wholesome positive integration of our sexual drive with our whole life and personal interrelationships. For the Christian, the Body of Christ is promoted by sharing with others in responsible interpersonal relationships most especially in the Sacrament of Marriage.
“If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.” – Leviticus 20:13
Sexuality characterized by sexual desire toward members of one’s own sex is another challenge to us Christians. We must not condemn people with homosexual orientation, for we do not become good followers of Christ if we ourselves are not examples of truly caring and loving Christians. We must remember too that effeminate gestures do not automatically make a male a homosexual. A man may unconsciously act in an effeminate manner because of the way he was raised in his family. This does not mean, however, that he is a homosexual. It is important to seek the factors impelling the person’s homosexuality. Among such conditions may be the absence of supportive parental relationships, false education, lack of normal sexual development, poor habits and even peer pressure.
“Do not profane your daughter by making her a prostitute, lest the land fall into prostitution and the land become full of depravity.” – Leviticus 19:29
Prostitution is the act of indulging in promiscuous sexual relations for payment. It robs a person of dignity by reducing him or her to a mere object or means for the selfish pleasure of the buyer. There is no commitment, no love and no service of life. In the Philippine context, prostitution is the consequence of exploitation and widespread poverty.
“But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” – Matthew 5:28
Pornography is a depiction of erotic behavior designed to cause sexual excitement or satisfaction to the reader or viewer’s self-centered sexual fantasies. We become part of the proliferation of pornographic materials when we buy them. Chastity enables us to avoid occasions which might lead us to a wrong view of sexuality. As Christians, we respect the body as a gift from God created in His image and likeness. We must also remember that our parents are the noes who can best give us a correct idea of sexuality.
© Phoenix Christian Life Education 6